Asia Market round-up: Fortis pulls Ping An deal
Fortis announced in a statement on September 30 that it would not complete a planned sale of 50% of its asset management business to China’s Ping An. The recently part-nationalized Belgian/Dutch group cited "the current severe market disruption and the ongoing uncertainty in the global capital markets" as the reason for pulling the deal, which would have been worth $3 billion. Fortis will instead retain 100% control of Fortis Investments, which has now completely integrated ABN Amro’s asset management business.
In a statement released the previous day, Ping An said that it "welcomes an active move by the governments of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to invest €11.2 [billion] in exchange for 49% of the respective Fortis bank institutions in each country". The Chinese insurance company has been working hard to quash the "market rumours" that it believes are depressing its stock price: it has offered the clarification that recent losses came from the declining fortunes of Fortis, rather than from exposure to AIG or any of the distressed US banks and GSEs.